Hong Kong Stock Exchange introduces new climate-related disclosure requirements

On 19 April 2024, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange published the conclusion paper to its April 2023 climate-related disclosures consultation and the accompanying Implementation Guidance. After considering feedback from the market and the ISSB Adoption Guide Preview, the Exchange will adopt a phased approach to implement mandatory climate-rated disclosures by introducing new climate-related disclosure requirements (the “New Climate Requirements”) in the ESG Code. The New Climate Requirements align closely with the ISSB’s sustainability disclosure standard – IFRS S2.

This latest development forms part of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s and regulators’ commitment to developing a robust sustainability disclosure ecosystem in line with international standards. The Hong Kong SAR Government issued a vision statement in March 2024 (the “Vision Statement”) which outlined the goal for Hong Kong SAR to be among the first jurisdictions to align its sustainability disclosure requirements with the ISSB Standards, with a longer term view where the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants will serve as the sustainability reporting standard setter and who will develop the local sustainability reporting standards (the “HK Standards”).

It is the intention of the Exchange that when the HK Standards are available, listed issuers will transition towards reporting in accordance with those standards. However, whether and when this migration may take place will be subject to further public consultation. Until then, the New Climate Requirements to be introduced via amendments to the current ESG Code will serve as an interim phase to prepare listed issuers.